CREDENTIALS I guess you‟re thinking „Why should I listen to this random person on the internet?‟Just so you know, I‟ve read fifty-three (and a half) books on creating fictional characters so I think I fit the bill to help you (yes, you) out with your little problem of creating a character.
HERE’S HOW YOU START OFF…Let‟s come up with a setting – you should have this already. If not, I‟m soon to be releasing a similar slideshow on how to create your setting, too. As an example, I‟m going to do a walk-through with you on this. Our setting: Modern-day London, England, August, 2012
NOW THINK ABOUT THE CHARACTER What does your character look like? Picture the character in your mind. Let‟s call her Riley. Example: Riley is a woman, age eighteen, with long scarlet-red hair and large blue eyes. She is five feet six inches tall with a buxom figure and a healthyolive skin tone. Her lips are slightly too big for her face and her nose is slightly too small. She is quite slim but has some weight on her slightly larger thighs and buttocks. Her breasts are a DD-cup and her abdomen is flat.
THE NEXT STEPNow that we have Riley‟s basic physical appearance, you can draft out a way to introduce her.The next slide is an example of how Riley sees herself in a full-length mirror when she is getting ready for work.
EXAMPLE: PERSONAL DESCRIPTION“The mirror did not give me any satisfaction with the way I look. The womanlooking back at me is still young, still fresh, wearing a plain black bra and lacy leopard-print briefs. Her arms and abs aren‟t concerning – its her thunder thighs and fat backside that annoy me, not to mention the too-big breasts straining against the fabric of the bra. Her oval face is haloed by hair the colour of blood, waving gently to her waist. Too-large blue eyes, too-small a nose and too-pouty lips are complimented by high cheek bones and a feminine jaw line. In all, the woman I see is average, barring the tattoo of akoi carp, a colourful drawing, marring the pale olive skin of her back, the tail of which travels over her rear and onto her thigh.”
SO YOU HAVE YOUR DESCRIPTION…Now what? This is the part where we give Riley a personality. If you rereadthe previous slide, you‟ll find that our lady is not very self-confident. This is where we use the first-person description to create Riley‟s personality. The next slide has a method and example for that.
EXAMPLE: PERSONALITY P.Q.C. Point: Riley is not confident in herself. Quote: „thunder thighs and fat backside‟Comment: This shows that Riley does not like her thighs and posterior, which can lead to modifying the way she dresses to cover these areas. Using P.Q.C. in this way can really help to build your character‟s personality.Following the P.Q.C., you can add in a few sentences of the character thinking of their friends, colleagues, parents, enemies or rivals. This can help develop the way they speak.
MADAME’S PREFERENCESNow you have the personality and appearance, we can work on some favourites. Here‟s another example for Riley. Favourite Food: Strawberries Favourite Drink: Hot chocolate Favourite Musician/Band: Shinedown Favourite TV Show: American Dad! Favourite Pastime: Painting Favourite Animal: Panther Yes, it really is that easy!
AND THAT’S ALL SHE WROTE! Thanks for viewing Here are some sites that help me out with my own stories. Hope you find them helpful, too! http://www.eclectics.com/articles/character.htmlhttp://fictionwriting.about.com/od/crafttechnique/tp/createcharacter.htmhttp://www.netplaces.com/writing-a-romance-novel/the-nuts-and-bolts-of- characterization/defining-character.htmhttp://www.seventhsanctum.com/ (This one has generators on it so if you get stuck, it‟s the best for helping you get out of a rut!)